Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Thursday July 16, 2009
Rio Costilla 68 cfs below Costilla Reservoir Good
The Rio Costilla within the Valle Vidal opened on Wednesday July 1st. It is absolutely the most beautiful trout stream in the state and a place where you can reliably catch a Rio Grande Cutthroat. Shuree Ponds also located within the Valle Vidal are now open giving anglers a shot at catching a lunker over 20 inches. High riding and visible dry flies cast tigh to the banks will be the tactics for the Rio Costilla and diving caddis or damsel on a long leader and floating line for Shuree Ponds. Remember that all streams of the Valle Vidal is No Kill, Catch and Release only.
Pecos River approximately 57 cfs below Terrero; Good
The river is fishing well with abundant hatches of all kinds. We are seeing more brown stones and ton of other bugs in the mix. Blue Winged Olives, PMD's, yellow sallies, and a small cream colored caddis have been fooling quite a few fish lately. Dry dropper rigs in the deeper water below Terrero have been the most productive. Fishing does slow some mid-day, and dry dropper rigs wsork better than dries. Once you get above Mora Creek, it's a dry fly game. Game and Fish put some Rio Grande Cutthroats in the Pecos a month ago. Go catch and RELEASE one of these beauties. Don't be a poacher! Please respect all of the landowners along the Pecos and stay out of all posted private waters. Please report anyone over harvesting fish or poaching to New Mexico Game and Fish at 1-800-432-4263.
San Juan River 966 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
The release below Navajo Dam went up as flows declined on the Animas. In order to maintain sufficient flows in the critical reach habitat for native fishes downstream of Farmington, the release was increased out of Navajo Dam. No word on how long we'll see the higher flows so take advantage of this. Fish near the dam in the morning to catch the midge hatch or sight cast to fish in the upper flats on black, gray, cream, or olive midges. Below Texas Hole, the baetis hatch starts from lunch time til 4 pm. Olive, gray, or chocolate RS2's or foam wings seem to be the colors for the emergers and small 22-24 BWO dries. Midge fishing will pick back up in the evenings on as black or gray emergers. Time to go back to the small stuff and fluorocarbon tippets. Streamers in the deeper runs can be incredible. Caddis and PMD's have been coming off on the lower river if you can float or arrange for a guide. Remember to take your sunscreen and insect repellent with you!There is a two fly only rule for the quality waters of the San Juan. This rule went into effect on July 1st. Game and Fish officers have been heavy handed and are checking people for licenses, barbless flies, and the number of flies on your rig! File those barbs or go barbless, as the fines are steep!
Jicarilla Nation Lakes; Fair to for trout
Fishing at Stone Lake is slow but still your best bet at fish over twenty inches. Use a very long leader (15 feet!) and try multiple nymphs like damsels and chironimids tied on tags or droppers. Takes are very light so try a slow hand twist retrieve to remain in constant contact with your flies. Bass are cruising the shallows in low light. Enbom had the weeds cut recently, however fishing from a float tube or pontoon boat gets you out of the weedier ares along the bank. Early morning or evenings are best. Catching has been better here than Stone. Damsel nymphs are producing very well. Mundo has been fishing well for trout and bass and bluegill. Damsel dies presented to the bass has been very good!
Rio Grande 243 cfs at Cerro; Slow: 388 cfs at Pilar; Fair for pike, Fair for trout, Fair for smallmouth bass
The Rio Grande is a little murky, but fishing fairly well for trout and smallmouth bass. Smallmouth eat crayfish patterns and wooly buggers in the eddies and you can pick out some trout in the tailouts of larger runs or in the pockets. For trout, show them a crane fly larvae, stonelfy nymph, or work streamers around structure. Game and Fish stocked some Rio Grande Cutthroats into the gorge. Kinda cool to have the river's namesake fish swimming in it's waters again. Please treat these fish as no kill. The low flows we are currently seeing should make casting to pike alot easier. Pike hunt by feel and they'll take large streamers that move water regardless of water clarity, just be sure to cover the water thoroughly. Cover the deep, slower runs and change flies frequently to see which ones trigger a strike.
Cimarron River 47 cfs below Eagle Nest Dam; Good
The Cimarron River is dam controlled for the most part by Eagle Nest dam. Although the release is high, fishing is good. The lower river is more open and can fish better than the brushy stuff on the upper end. There are golden stones, baetis, and PMD hatches over the river. Flies for the Cimarron are PMD's, caddis, yellow sallies, scuds, hares ear nymphs, and Barr's PMD emergers.
Jemez Mountain Streams 10 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Good
The Cebolla, the East Fork, and the San Antonio are fishing well with a dries or a dry with a small dropper. The more open stretches of meadow water are fishing slower mid-day. Generally the more shaded water or the higher you go will beat that mid-day slump. It's the perfect place for light tackle, so take your onie and go high. Other hatches are little yellow sallies, PMD's, cream caddis, and red quills.
The Chama River above the village of Chama; Good: 68 cfs below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Fair: 843 cfs below El Vado Dam; Fair: and 954 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Slow
The Chama River upstream of Tierra Amarilla is fishing well, except the river can murk up after a thunder shower. The Chama can take a day or two to clear up, so keep checking the reports. Currently, the Sargent Wildlife Area is the place to fish with caddis, PMD's and Golden stones. I've had mixed reports from the section above El Vado Reservoir. Large nymphs like craneflies and stoneflies or streamers like slumpbusters are best there. Check the flows before you make that drive to one of the tailwaters. The fishing is generally fair below El Vado using big nymphs with flash and sparkle or streamers. The release is up. Cover the tailouts of pools and hit the obvious seams. The release out of Abiquiu fluctuates greatly depending on irrigation need and municipal water supplies so it's best to find someplace else to fish most of the summer. Baetis nymphs, midges, and crane fly larva are the usual flies for the Chama below Abiquiu. Even though this stretch does have some decent natural reproduction, most of the fish that get caught, get kept. The tailwater sections usually fish best below 300 cfs. The best fishing here is up on the lake for smallmouth and walleye from the shore. The Chama River above El Vado and below Abiquiu are Special Trout Waters with reduced bag limits. The density of fish is very low there and is not stocked. Please report anyone over harvesting here to New Mexico Game and Fish at 1-800-432-4263.
In Southern Colorado:
Conejos River 189 cfs below Platoro, 357 cfs at Mogote; Good
July 5, 2009. "D-RAKES! They are here. PMD's are also prevalent right now and at times the fish seem to prefer them. Maybe they taste better? Whatever the flavor it is buggy and fish are looking up. We had a guide trip on Friday that hooked about 50 fish a piece on dries including a 22" male brown. We did not see really big fish all year long until the last few days. Another group landed a 27.5" Male bow about 7 or 8 pounds. Drakes are up at least into the Menkhaven area and prolific in some sections others spotty. Flows of 500 on the lower river have made it somewhere between spectacular and good. Tribs have Drakes as well and almost anywhere people are fishing right now is good. Devan and I took turns yesterday making some casts and getting a chance to throw dries and so again today we will sneak out a bit to endulge. You should as well. Please know that if you are a catch and release fisherman and crushing fish and still using a barb?! If you will leave them in the water and not on rocks or sitting in your net you do them a huge favor. They may swim away but you have burned there gills and they will die slowly or be impaired for no reason!" Jon Harp of Conejos River Anglers provided the preceding report.
Arkansas River 787 cfs at Granite; Good: 1040 cfs at Salida; Slow to Fair
Flows are finally down and mcuh more of the river is wadable and fishable from Hayden Meadows to Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Lower flows and good fishing from Hayden Meadows down to the Lake Creek confluence. Fishing from Brown's Canyon to Buena Vista has been good on little yellow sallies, PMD's, and caddis in the evenings fished tight to the banks. Caddis continue to hatch each afternoon from Granite upstream. Stonflies and PMD's are hatching around Salida. Fish the pockets with dry dropper rigs or sight cast to risers.
Animas River 624 cfs at Durango; Slow to Fair
The Animas can get murky after the typical summer thunder shower. Caddis nymphs with a trailing midge or pheasant tail drifted and swung along the banks will pick up some fish. The release on the Delores below McPhee is currenlty at 70 cfs. The fish here are very skitish making for some technical presentations. The Delores above McPhee is seeing the big crowds of summer but better fishing.
Pagosa Area: Piedra River 94 cfs at Arboles; Fair to Good: San Juan River 131 cfs at Pagosa Springs; Fair
The Pagosa area streams are all fishing very well. The Piedra still has some larger stonflies coming off and PMD's, caddis, and gray drakes showing up also. Lots of caddis especially in the evening has made for great fishing on the San Juan near Pagosa. Streamers and terrestrials will pick you up few fish on the main stem San Juan and lower Piedra. Williams Creek below the dam can offer some fishing after a rainstorm on pretty much the same flies as the Piedra.
Rio Grande 139 cfs at Creede; Slow to Fair: 411 cfs at Wagon Wheel Gap; Good
Releases out of Rio Grande Reservoir are all over the place and back down for the moment. The oxbows below the reservor have been fishing very well as has most of the river. Caddis, stoneflies, and PMD's are all over the place and the green drakes are advancing up river.
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It's summer time in New Mexico and water and fishing condtitions change frequently! Please CALL the fly shop for the latest in stream flows and water conditions.
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